Milton High School begins year of celebration for 100th anniversary

A yearlong celebration of Milton High School’s 100th anniversary is underway. Milton City Council honored the school with a proclamation on its achievements during a Monday meeting.

The school’s first students were enrolled in 1921 and attended classes at the school’s original location on Milton Avenue in Alpharetta.

In 2005, the school was moved to the city of Milton and a new $65 million campus on Birmingham Highway, where nearly 2,400 students are enrolled. Today, it boasts recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and more than 40 state championships in the academics, athletics and the arts.

Jackie Angel, chair of the Milton High School 100th Anniversary Committee, said art and literary events honoring alumni throughout history will be held virtually at least through the spring due to the pandemic. Next fall, however, the committee plans to honor the school with in-person festivities during three weekend celebrations including homecoming.

Milton was the name of the former county that was merged with Fulton in 1932. The Milton County Board of Education opened the public school that would become Milton High School with only two students in its senior class, historian Connie Mashburn said.

Students were transferred from the Alpharetta Male and Female Academy to the new Milton school.Students Kate Walker and Clyde Andrews started their final year of high school there in the late summer of 1921, he said.

Mashburn, a historian of Milton and Alpharetta, said when Milton school opened it offered grades 1 through 11. In those days, students graduated after completing 11th grade. “We went to the 12th grade in 1950,” he said.

The elementary school became a separate entity in 1956.

Mashburn attended the Milton school from first through 12th grades graduating in 1959. His mother, son and daughter also graduated from the school and his grandson will be a freshman at Milton in August, the historian said.

“It was a wonderful experience for me,” Mashburn said, adding that he enjoyed everything about what was then rural Alpharetta. “It was kind of like (fictional) Mayberry. Actually there were bad things going on but we didn’t know about it.”

A log cabin built outside the school in 1935 by students in a Future Farmers of America class and their teacher, Pierce Elkins, was constructed with supplies donated by local farmers. It remained at the location of the original school until 2017.

More than $400,000 was raised by Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society and other donors to move the cabin across the street to Milton Avenue Park, Mashburn said.

Visit the city of Milton website for updates on events celebrating Milton High School and Milton High School 100th Anniversary Facebook page.